ABS welcomes four-year $26 million investment

By Melissa Coade

March 31, 2022

Australians delivered 6,229,629 completed census forms by 8am on Wednesday
Budget money will help the Australian Bureau of Statistics improve regional labour market statistics. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt)

Budget money will help the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) improve regional labour market statistics and update the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

The change to ANZSCO will mean the future labour market is accurately reflected in how the ABS classifies occupations and labour market statistics.

“It will deliver a stronger evidence base to inform skilled migration programs and workforce strategies that equip Australians with skills they need and support employers to meet their workforce needs,” a statement from the ABS on said in Wednesday.

“The funding for our labour market statistics will allow us to provide a better understanding of regional labour market developments.”

Australian Statistician Dr David Gruen said more than $26 million from the federal budget would help his agency deliver improvements for important information as part of the ABS work program.

These initiatives included reviewing the feasibility of producing a Consumer Price Index (CPI) to complement quarterly CPI reporting the ABS does as part of its role meeting community and government data needs. 

“Throughout the pandemic and more recently the floods, the ABS has produced timely information showing the changes in Australia’s economy and society,” Gruen said. 

The ABS will no longer produce Residential Property Price Indexes, Gruen added, following consultation with stakeholders. But the total value of residential dwellings, median prices and counts of property sales will continue to be produced in a new quarterly publication, Total Value of Dwellings, which is due to be released in June. 

The budget money will also go to five key ABS projects including:

  1. A monthly indicator of wages and salaries, making use of the Australian Taxation Office Single Touch Payroll data, due for release later this year as part of the Big Data Timely Insights program;
  2. The joint delivery of the National Disability Data Asset with the of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to bring together datasets from across the federal, state and territory governments to better understand the lives of people with disability;
  3. Real time support to Emergency Management Australia and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, through the Australian Climate Services. to ensure data is available to understand the impact of natural disasters on people and businesses;
  4. Improvements for small and medium businesses to report data to the ABS through better use of software that businesses already use; and
  5. Producing specialised, satellite economic accounts looking at the defence industry and transport sector.


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